FRANCE: How to Stay Alive

Where is Clemenceau? Where are Gambetta, Jaures, Briand, Poincare? These great figures already seem to belong to a distant past.

—Frederic Hoffet, Psychanalyse de Paris

In a time of small men, however parlous the time, the small men carry on, sometimes gamely. Last week France's durable Premier Joseph Laniel—whose government has lasted for almost seven months, longer than the average for the Fourth Republic—mounted the eight carpeted steps to the National Assembly's rostrum, put on gold-rimmed glasses and read a 45-minute speech. Purpose: to win a vote of confidence so that Laniel's...

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